Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 9, Number 2, May, 1999 Page: 52
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
which was organized in Columbus in the summer of 1861. As one might expect, Davidson 's
contributions to the series are filled with the names of other members of the Columbus company,
and directly reflect their experiences in the campaign. So do the contributions of others. For that
reason, the series has been judged appropriate for this publication. However, because of its
length, and because much of it is of secondary interest to local readers, it has been severely
abridged. The remaining text is presented in its original form, with spelling errors intact, as
nearly as possible. No commentary has been added. The dates which precede each installment are
the dates of the Overton Sharp-Shooter in which the installment originally was printed
October 6, 1887
Reasons for Writing this History.
Twenty-seven years ago, after years of
wrangling and wordy strife, of criminations and
re-criminations, of heart-burnings and hatred
between the Northern and Southern States of
this Union, the South determined to withdraw
from the North and set up a free, sovereign
and independent government of their own. Their
right to do so was denied them, and an army
was raised by the North to coerce the South
The Southern States feeling that they were
poor, without money, without arms, without a
navy or an army or the means of procuring
one, without food and clothing to supply an
army, called on the sons of the South to uphold
her cause and to sustain her flag amid the roar
of cannons and the crash of musketry.
And those noble sons believing in the jus-
tice of their cause; believing that the Southern
States were independent sovereignties, and had
the right to form that government; and, know-
ing that they had neither arms, navy, food, or
clothing; knowing that they and to face the
whole world in arms, responded to the call,
gave their money and property to the cause,
and for four long, weary, tedious years, through
the freezing winds of winter, and under the blaz-
ing suns of summer, stood a granite wall of
human hearts and human souls between their
own loved southern homes and a world in arms,
and though cannon balls tore great gaps in their
ranks, and mangled into shapeless masses their
poor bodies, through musket balls went crush-
ing through their flesh, and made many breaks
in their lines, yet those gaps were closed and a
firm undaunted front presented to the enemy.
It is no purpose now of ours to say whether
the North was right or the South was wrong,
the strong arm of might has forever settled that
question, and whether settled in favor of the
right or not now makes no difference, the toil-
ing, bleeding, suffering soldier of the South
believed that he was right and freely offered
his life upon his county's alter as a token of his
honesty; he knew that his county was poor, he
knew that she had neither arms, clothing or food
for her soldiers; he knew that she had to face
the whole world, he asked not if she could suc-
ceed over such desperate odds, but he believed
that she deserved success; he knew that she was
his own native land, and he knew that he could
suffer, bleed and die in her cause, and will-
ingly, manfully and right cheerfully he did it.
It is frequently said, and, perhaps it is true,
in regular armies that the officers make the men,
but in citizen soldiery, and especially, in the
armies of the South, with a very few rare ex-
ceptions, the very reverse of this was the truth,
and it was the soldiers that made the officers.
In our army it was no uncommon thing to
see an officer in command of a regiment of
men eight-tenths of whom in education, in in-
telligence, in courage, in patriotism, in every
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 9, Number 2, May, 1999, periodical, May 1999; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151406/m1/4/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed May 27, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.